Philadelphia Music Makers

The show aired from September, 2014 to April, 2015

The musicians were your hosts for Philadelphia Music Makers, a unique 31-episode series that brought you up close to instrumentalists, vocalists, and composers throughout the Philadelphia region. It aired on WRTI between September, 2014 and April, 2015.

Each one-hour show featured a classical or jazz artist - a variety of the area's best and brightest, emerging and well-established musicians, performing their favorite pieces and sharing personal and professional stories.

Classical episodes aired on Sundays at 5 pm; jazz episodes aired on Sundays at 6 pm.

Philadelphia Music Makers was co-produced by Jim Cotter and Eric Brannon. Jane Kelly was executive producer.

The series was made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the generosity of an anonymous WRTI Leadership Circle member, with additional support from WRTI members.

Shawn Northcutt

Though born in Canada, violinist Shannon Lee’s story really starts in Texas; for it was there that she began her musical journey. With three-year-old hands too small for the piano, Lee began Suzuki violin classes instead. 

By the time she completed all 10 Suzuki books, much of her social life revolved around rehearsals, workshops and music camps. For Lee, “play” has always meant music. 

At the age of 8, Lee secured the mentor who would nurture her through the end of high school - Jan Mark Sloman, then the Principal Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. 

Composer David Ludwig: All In The Family

Oct 20, 2014

David Ludwig is acutely aware of the importance of legacy. Born into a long line of celebrated figures in classical music, Ludwig is just the latest member of his immediate family to attend, and then become, a faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music.

His grandfather and great-grandfather stand out in history as some of the foremost performers of their time on piano and violin, respectively. But more than just fame and talent, Ludwig’s lineage instilled him with a commitment to both moral and artistic integrity.

Pianist George Fu: Head and Heart

Oct 13, 2014

On Sunday, October 19th at 5 pm, Philadelphia Music Makers on WRTI is hosted by Harvard- and Curtis-educated pianist George Fu.

George has never suffered from a lack of ambition. At the age of three, he was so enamored with an electric piano that he attempted to hoist it home from a yard sale by himself, prompting his parents - both scientists - to enroll him in lessons. 

This Sunday at 6 pm, celebrated jazz trumpet player Terell Stafford is the host for WRTI's Philadelphia Music Makers.  

Terell Stafford has been hailed as one of the finest instrumentalists of his generation. But while his love of the instrument started early, he didn't find his genre until much later in life. 

Britt Olsen-Ecker Photography

Still ascending the steep trajectory of a mid-career opera singer, Jessica Lennick feels compelled to keep at her craft. Why? Because it's her calling to do so.

A local singer with a growing stature, Jessica's next major project is the title role in a new opera about the sex life of philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand, composed by Melissa Dunphy.

Listen to Jessica's story, in her own words, and hear her perform on WRTI's Philadelphia Music Makers, Sunday, September 28th, 5 to 6 pm.

WRTI presents the debut episode of Philadelphia Music Makers on Sunday, September 21 from 5 to 6 pm. Elizabeth Hainen, principal harp of The Philadelphia Orchestra, launches the series.

Most of the music for Philadelphia Music Makers was recorded at WRTI's state-of–the art studios or in the German Society of Pennsylvania in Center City Philadelphia, with its lively acoustics and beautiful Bösendorfer grand piano.